(Make Me a) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 43: Olivier Rocabois

Olivier Rocabois (credit: Alain Bibal)

Self-taught Breton singer-songwriter Olivier Rocabois was born in 1974. Quite soon he abandoned his studies in law and history to devote himself to his passion: Anglo-Saxon pop, The Beatles and their descendants. He, then, founded a myriad of groups in Rennes and then in Paris. ALL IF group was created in 2008 with Antoine Pinchot and Valentin Dutrey. A hundred concerts and a couple of self-produced records later, the album Absolute Poetry was released in the summer of 2017 (Pschent Music / Alter K). He also created a cover duet with German musician Jan Stümke: Puppets Of Digression. In addition, Olivier gladly lends his pen and/or his voice to more electronic obedience projects: Slove, Plaisir de France, Fedou, Kool Bandits, Now. Married, father of two boys, he lives as a recluse in his cottage in Yvelines. Raised on cult albums (Ram by McCartney, Giant Steps by the Boo Radleys), Rocabois developed an eclectic taste for the refined and the organic. His first solo record, the magnificent Olivier Rocabois Goes Too Far, was released on April 2, 2021 for the Acoustic Kitty label.

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(Make Me a) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 42: Natalie Jane Hill

Natalie Jane Hill

Austin, TX Songwriter Natalie Jane Hill recasts the purest sort of folk music in a modern light, distilling intricate guitar picking and throaty, emotion-laden melodies into songs whose simple contours give way to hidden crevices and eccentricities. Her voice is like a breeze through the trees and her debut album Azalea caught a lot of attention last year (here!). Solely, her second album, again on Dear Life Records, adds pedal steel from Mat Davidson and Bob Hoffnar, as well as wonderful cello parts that recall Nick Drake.
Her incredible fingerpicking and her guitar are still the rocks around which her music is built, but her voice, with a distinct quick vibrato, is the unmistakable and unique feature of the record, reminding Sandy Denny or Linda Thompson.

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(Make Me a) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 41: The Suncharms

The Suncharms (credit. Julie Wright)

The Suncharms are a Sheffield based indie/shoegaze band originally active between 1989-1993: Marcus Palmer (vocals/tambourine), Matt Neale (Guitar), John Malone (guitar), Richard Farnell (Bass) and Chris Ridley (Drums). The band released a couple of EPs (The Suncharms EP and Tranquil Day) on the now defunct Wilde Club Records, and recorded a Peel session before going into hibernation for 26 years! Since reforming in 2016 to release a compilation of their 90s material on Cloudberry Records and a new 7″ single, Red Dust, on Slumberland Records in 2018, the band released the long overdue debut album, Distant Lights, on Sunday Records this fall.

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(Make Me a) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 40: Grand Drifter

Grand Drifter

Since 2016 Grand Drifter is Andrea Calvo’s musical project (voice, guitar, harmonica, piano), sometimes as a band, sometimes alone. Italy-based Architect and designer, Andrea’s collaborations as a musician have been many over the years, the most important is as keyboardist and guitarist with Yo Yo Mundi live on tour and in the recording studio. In 2018 came the electroacoustic debut Lost Spring Songs (Sciopero Records – Self distribution), produced by Paolo Enrico Archetti Maestri (Yo Yo Mundi), where a gentle, delicate and introspective songwriting, ranges between emotional coordinates linked to the Beatles’ White Album and electric songs that look up to pop-rock. The record gets extremely favorable reviews (Rumore, Rockerilla, Blow-Up, Classic Rock, Sentireascoltare, Rockit…) as well as many radio feedbacks.
The new album, Only Child is made of 10 songs, recorded between summer 2020 and spring 2021. It will be out on Friday November 26, 2021 produced once again by Paolo Enrico Archetti Maestri (Yo Yo Mundi), recorded, edited, and mixed by Dario Mecca Aleina between Turin and Rivalta Bormida and mastered by Giovanni Versari at La Maestà studio. It will be released on CD by the South African / UK label SUBJANGLE and on vinyl by SCIOPERO RECORDS, distributed by SELF and it is supported by the Turin collective DOTTO. Haunted Life is the first single from the album.

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(Make Me a) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 39: Chime School

Chime School

Chime School is the project of San Francisco musician Andy Pastalaniec. Endlessly charmed by 80s indie and its 60s forbearers (and any record with a 12-string guitar), Andy cut his teeth as a drummer with Slumberland labelmate Odd Hope in their early group Pink Films; later with shoegazers Cruel Summer, and currently with indiepop outfit Seablite. But it wasn’t until he was gifted a cassette 4-track portastudio “almost as a dare” that he came out from behind the kit to write and record his own material.
Aptly named for its autodidact roots, Chime School pays homage to the formative jangle of The Byrds by way of early Primal Scream and The Springfields; the production and pop sensibility of the Biff Bang Pow and The Razorcuts; and the spirit of great singles labels like Creation, Postcard and Sarah. His self-titled debut album, featuring singles It’s True and Taking Time To Tell You, will be out on Slumberland on November 5th. 

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